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stay with msnbc for continuing coverage of the explosions in boston. chris jansing takes over now. good afternoon, i am chris jansing. we continue to follow that breaking news. two explosions at the finish line of the boston marathon. this is the first dramatic video we're getting of what appears to be a large catastrophic explosion. one after the next. we do not know the cause or the full impact at this hour. but first responders have been rushing to the scene. they came to the explosions that hit just about one hour ago. we do have reports of multiple injuries. some of them severe. former police commissioner bill bratton reportedly cited as many as 50 people injured. again, in the chaos that is ensuing, it's difficult to get a real number, but as you can see, people being taken from the scene in wheelchairs and on stretchers. we are also getting the first pictures showing the destruction. you can actually see part of the grandstand apparently destroyed.
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people injured on the ground. now, this is an area in boston with a train line running right underneath. it's unclear if this could be an explosion from under the ground or above the ground, but if you've been watching us, you probably just heard reports that at least part of the subway system there is shut down. the boston bomb squad is on the scene along with fire, police and medical responders. obviously the boston marathon, a huge event. 27,000 runners. half a million spectators lining the race route each year. president obama has been notified. he has directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary. again, i think it's important to stress we don't know the cause of this. we don't know the extent of the impact. the injuries. of note, though, the boston marathon did post a statement on the facebook page. "there were two bombs that exploded year the finish line in today's boston marathon. we are working with law enforcement to understand exactly what happened."
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i to bring in bridget murphy, she is with the "associated press" and joins us on the phone. i understand, bridget, you're on lockdown after the explosion? tell us where you are, what you saw, what you heard? >> yes. apologies if it's a little loud here or if i miss one of your questions. i'm actually in the main press room. we had been collecting quotes from some of the winners a short bit earlier. and we were sitting typing our stories on deadline and we heard what was sounded like at least two booms. we just kind of looked at each other, was that thunder, what was that? some of my colleagues were outside. at least one was able to get out of the building and talk to some of the eyewitnesss and survivors. so we don't have any totals yet on injuries, but my colleague, jay lindsey, spoke to a rhode island state trooper who just crossed the finish line about two minutes earlier. he described seeing at least 25 to 30 people with limbs missing. either one leg, an ankle
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missing, or even two legs missing and he said people were just grabbing whatever they could and tieing off people's limbs, doing makeshift tuorn kits, so to speak. >> it's simplistic to call it chaotic. i can only imagine the scene there. what else can you tell us about what happened after you heard those explosions, and any eyewitness accounts that you heard? >> well, you know, the trooper described it like a war zone. other people were just dazed. you know, they were -- they were standing nearby. glass hit some of them. some of them were bloody. some of them were worrying about their runners who were still in the race. i spoke to a family earlier from newtown, connecticut, whose daughter had survived the shooting and she was seated along with her father and three siblings in the vip grandstands.
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fortunately their mom had already finished the race and they had left the area, but they were very worried about some of the other newtown runners that were still in progress. they said there's other runners who haven't finished yet. the fact they were running to raise money for the mass shooting and this would happen made them feel horrible. we're still collecting eyewitness accounts. the ones we have were very early, just people not knowing what was going on. like i said, we heard from inside at least two loud booms. after, you know, collecting our interviews from the race winners and trying to get our stories out and then started getting as close as we could, as fast as we could. the other thing i can tell you is, we don't have a number on victims, the victims seem to be a mix of both runners and fans. and there were reports of just a lot of police officers running toward the scene trying to help.
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>> bridget murphy from the "associated press." thank you. if you get more information, check back in with us. we'd love to hear from you. thank you so much. i want to go to josh bisel who ran in the race. he had finished and just gone back to his hotel. josh, thanks for hanging on the line with us. tell us where you are, what you saw, what you heard. >> i'm actually staying a few blocks down from the finish at the taj boston and had already finished, fortunately, and had gone up to my room to kind of just unwind and heard a loud boom. it's a clear day here, and i was hoping that it was thunder. or maybe a truck. then moments later heard another one. went to the window, looked out to see if i could see smoke or anything. just kind of waited hoping i wouldn't hear any sirens, but, and then just a little bit after that, the sirens started up and, you know, just started searching out to see what exactly had happened.
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>> we know that, josh, there was a heavy police presence. they have always national guardsmen there. we were told there were 400 there today just to keep the marathon route clear. >> uh-huh. >> i'm wondering about how aware you were of official presence there. >> oh, i mean, just the whole -- the whole route, the national guard does a great job. and then also the law enforcement of, you know, shutting down the streets, keeping spectators back. because there are just so many people that line the course, especially those last few miles, that it's just -- it's really amazing to be out there running it and they need those people to keep the crowds back. yeah. there's definitely a large presence out there. >> josh beisel who ran the race today. thank you very much. we want to tell you, we're getting information now about what might have caused this. a small improvised explosive device apparently in the preliminary estimate, a small
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ied is what is behind the explosion. this is at least the assessment of three separate law enforcement officials who have expertise in explosives. important to caution, this is still extremely early in the investigation. forensic evidence is far from complete. this only happened a little more than an hour ago. and while there are reports of multiple explosions, and that's not been ruled out, there are often reports of multiple explosions that turn out to be essentially a reverberation from a large single blast. again, officials who spoke with nbc believe the explosion was at least one small improvised explosive device. that would be, in other words, a homemade bomb. evan coleman is an msnbc terror analyst. evan, what do you make of what we just reported? >> yeah, well, i mean, unfortunately these days there are a number of different groups out there promoting among its membership and its supporters the idea they should build their own small, you know, improvised
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explosive devices and set them off in crowded areas that are, unfortunately, you know, not necessarily prime targets but they're soft targets. and if that's -- if this, indeed, is a small ied, the fact is is that you have a group like al qaeda in the arabian peninsula which put out an english language guide including something titled how to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom. it's something designed to allow small grade extremists to be able to carry out something even on this scale. i think it's important even if this is determined to be a deliberate act, or politically or ideologically motivated, to keep in mind something like this is well within the capability of one small determined extremist. not everyone is capable of this, but it's not something that an entire organization would have to be responsible for. >> evan, if you could stay on the line for us, we are now getting confirmation from the boston police that two people
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have been killed in this explosion at the boston marathon. at least 19 patients have been admitted to mass general in the emergency room there. we are also getting information that more than that have been injured. 22 injured. at least. and two dead. mike barnicle of "morning joe" here on msnbc, and, of course, well known in boston, is on the line with us now. what can you tell us, mike? >> chris, it's been reported to me that there were two explosions. about two to three city blocks apart on boyleston street in boston, downtown boston, the finish line of boston marathon. they're on the opposite side of the street from the viewing stand. the explosions took place about 15 to 20 seconds apart. and, again, as i indicated, two to three blocks in distance. they were clearly serious injuries around both explosive areas.
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thankfully there was a huge medical contingent, as there is at every boston marathon finish line. so while there were multiple injuries, as you just reported, two deaths already, many more, i think, were probably saved from even further human damage. from the medical teams on site. the police swept the area along with drug sniffing dogs and explosive sniffing dogs early in the morning today prior to the start of the marathon. initial reports, these are unconfirmed reports that the explosive devices took place in or around two mailboxes on boyleston street. that's unconfirmed preliminary report. that's the report i heard from police. >> give us a sense, mike, as somebody who is a longtime boston resident, of what the scene would be in the moments right before these explosions
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went off. >> the finish line of the marathon, you have thousands of people there at the finish line waiting for relatives running the marathon for various causes. you also have a half hour, 45 minutes earlier, the boston red sox game which on patriots day, that's an official holiday here in suffolk county in boston. the red sox game just got out, so you have at least 35,000 people spilling out of fenway park which is six blocks away from the finish line. coming down, milling around downtown. it's a wide commercial boulevard. boyleston street. filled with shops, outdoor cafes. people eating. very joyce moods. it's a great day for the city. always has been. very traditional day for the city. people from all around the world, not just the united states here in town to participate in the marathon in one form or another. either to run it or their relatives are running it. their sons and daughters, wives, running it. so it's a carnal atmosphere. and all of a sudden, you know, these two explosions and the multiple injuries that followed
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have certainly put a severe damper on this city as well as on the lives of all of those who participate and certainly all of the lives that were damaged today. >> one of the great sporting events every year that you don't have to be a runner to appreciate the diversity of people who run in a race like this. mike, as you get more information, please check back in with us. mike barnicle getting an update. 23 people injured and 2 have been killed. in explosions. let me bring back in evan. i'm sure, evan, that you heard the reports earlier. it's very common to have not just a lot of medical personnel, for obvious reasons when you're running more than 26 miles, but also a large police presence, a heavy national guard presence. how easy or difficult would it be to somehow hide an ied that could do this kind of damage? >> i mean, look, look, let's face it. this is an impossible task we've asked the police to do.
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i mean, you know, it is an open event in the middle of a big city. there are thousands of people around there. there's only so much that they can do. there's only so many bags that they look for and i think, unfortunately, we have to go with the numbers and the numbers are that, you know, most of these things are stopped before, you know, they reach the point of hurting anyone, but, you know, there aren't enough resources, unfortunately, that i think we could ever muster that we could potentially find every single bag. so i think the reality is is that sometimes things get through. and even in a heavily policed area like this, when there's thousands of people moving in and out, and it's, you know, there's a lot of potential threats to track, i don't think it's unrealistic to expect that something might get through. >> and we talked about the fact that they're already investigating, obviously, starting to collect forensic information. tell us what would be going on in these early stages of the investigation and what specifically investigators would be looking for, evan. >> i tell you, first thing they're going to be looking for
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is close-circuit television cameras. they're going to be looking for any cameras in that area pointed in that direction because they're going to want to see if there were suspicious packages, who left them, who dropped them off, what did they look like, and where did they go, where did they come from? you know, most oftentimes when we see these investigations, these are the critical pieces of evidence that allow us to identify who people are. it's close-circuit television. while we don't have the coverage of a country like the united kingdom, in a major urban area, certainly an area like this, it's fair to say given the amount of media coverage and whatnot, there are cameras that were there, whether private cameras or media cameras, that caught relevant and important footage. i'm sure that's the first thing. of course, they're going to be testing to see if this was an explosive device, what kind of explosive was it? something homegrown? something someone purchased somewhere in military grade? this is also going to give a clue as to, you know, who
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perpetrated this or at least we can rule some people out. >> how easy or difficult is it to trace these kinds of component parts? >> well, you know, it depends what it is. i think it's a lot easier than, say, something that's cooked up in somebody's garage. however, you know, depending on how someone constructs this, you'd be surprised how many mistakes people can make. people oftentimes leave fingerprints on devices. they just leave things behind that allow investigators to come back to them. sometimes, you know, it's mista mistakes, but that's what they're going to look for if this was, you know, an improvised device or devices. that's the other thing is that if you look at these kind of homegrown training manuals, one of the things they suggest is that you should, you know, create two devices. one to leave behind for first responders or to, you know, try to go after people who respond to the initial explosion. you know, draw in. so, you know, that's another thing to keep in mind. not that this is necessarily
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what that was. but, you know, that's something to at least put in perspective when you hear that kind of information coming out. >> all right. thank you so much, evan, who will be staying with us. i'm chris jansing. we're going to go over to whdh, our local affiliate there. who has just reported that the airspace over boston, at least part of it, is being shut down. and tamron hall will pick up our coverage. >> we certainly know the number of people that come into this city from around the world who want to witness, who want to participate in the run, who want to witness this run and at that finish line you have thousands of people waiting, applauding the people who cross that finish line. and as runners were finishing, you had these two pretty big explosi explosions. we've seen the video of it. they were big. the injuries were grave. we have people in critical condition. we have two deaths. and according to witnesses on the scene and according to crews on the scene, they saw these
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injuries and they really were left speechless, the only way they could say, they were grave injuries. very severe. people who lost their limbs. it is just an absolutely chaotic scene. the windows are blown out there. listening to radio on the way in when i first heard this, that the windows of nearby buildings had also exploded or also shattered as a result of the explosion. so these were loud enough explosi explosions, certainly, powerful enough explosions. we call them small homemade bombomb s according to a law enforcement official. however, the results was devastated. >> absolutely. we are just getting word in, we want to clear some things up. there was a fire that happened at the jfk library. happened shortly after these two explosions. a lot of concern that that could be connected. we're now learning that fire was mechanical. it is not considered suspicious. and so we will assume that it's not related to these two other explosions. again, this fire at the jfk
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library is not suspicious. >> that's good news if anything. taking more looks here at these -- at some of the scene here. and, again, all boston police officers, all off duty boston police officers have been ordered to respond to their districts. mass avenue bridge has been closed. boyleston obviously has been closed. the marathon temporarily suspended. runners were rerouted when this happened. coolidge corner, washington square and coolidge corner have been cleared out by brookline police. mass bridge has been closed. green line service between kenmore and park street has been suspended. this is a chaotic scene. obviously as investigators and the fbi, we're told, on the ground at least or coming to the scene, presumably they are probably already here. >> this is tamron hall at the msnbc headquarters following the breaking news out of boston. right now, let me get you
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updated on new information. counterterrorism officials and bomb technicians are telling nbc news that there were multiple explosive devices, at least two, which exploded. this remains preliminary information. but right now, counterterrorism officials and bomb technicians tell nbc news that there were multiple explosive devices, at least two of which exploded. this information remains preliminary. what we also know right now, as you see looking at these images coming in, these explosive devices, as they've been described, went off just as the winners of the boston marathon were crossing the finish line. this has had an impact far beyond boston. here in new york, right now, the security's been stepped up at hotels and prominent locations. the white house has been alerted as well. of course, the details. the latest information out of boston. the obama administration is in contact with state and local authorities. the president has directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation.
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we also know that a short time ago, pennsylvania avenue in front of the white house has been closed to pedestrian traffic. people with so-called hard passes can still have access to the white house. but the public has been pushed into lafayette park and beyond. we are following this breaking news. two people confirmed dead. 23 others injured. and details that are coming from witnesses who were at the scene, when these explosive devices went off, as you can imagine, have been graphic and quite unbelievable to see this happening at the end of this marathon. some 20,000-plus people, 26,000 runners, representing 96 countries. if you've ever been to one of these marathons, as the runners are coming in, especially the winners, a great group of people will gather. you see the image there. the smoke billowing from the side of your screen. just as the winners of the marathon were coming through. you have friends, family, supporters, who gather at that finish line. ten people deep in some cases depending where you are. the emergency crews immediately
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responding. i have a number of people standing by. let me get with evan, our terrorism expert. evan, obviously investigation like this you have a ton of witnesses around. we've seen this before. where an explosive device of some sort in a parade, in a controlled area where if an individual is trying to target a group, you've got a number of people standing there. what comes to my mind immediately, martin luther king parade, i believe it was washington state, where an explosive device was placed around the parade route. someone saw this bag at that scene. here you've got a ton of people. ten deep in some cases. maybe even more watching this. what are investigators looking for right now, evan? >> well, like i said, they're really looking at i'm sure for closed-circuit television camera foota footage. there's going to be conflicting witness accounts. that's one of the biggest problems with doing one of these investigations. the one thing that can't be fake and one thing that can't be fudged is, you know, a camera. this is a major urban area.
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presumably there are a lot of cameras that were trained on this area. if there were, indeed, suspicious packages which were the source of these explosions, then we're going to want to see who put them down there. who, you know -- and this is the kind of investigation, i mean, it's the kind of -- in 1996, the bombing of the park down in atlanta. i think that's most likely the direction they're going in. identifying the type of explosives that was used. >> evan, let me interrupt you and ask you a question. you bring up the atlanta bombing. the world has changed as far as cameras being readily available, getting many vantage points especially in densely populated or areas that are frequented by tourists, by business folks. i think of immediately times square, for example. and the number of cameras that are just in that area, alone. all of this since 9/11. is it likely at this point already you have investigators looking for if there's a bank camera, if there's a building with high security with a camera at this point?
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looking at that tape right now? let me go to clint van zandt. he's standing by. clint, you know, you're an fbi profiler. a lot of this, the evidence, the technical things that are happening right now is it find out who could be responsible. and i was asking evan, the world has changed, for example, since the atlanta bombing. clint, you have cameras on every corner these days. is that the first source or one of the major sources for the investigation? >> yeah, well, they've got a lot going on. number one, they're trying to find out obviously who's responsible. could this be simply a -- i don't say simply, but could it be a lone wolf? that's going to be the challenge. if it's just one individual perhaps with no other type, group affiliation, whatsoever. is there any chatter on the internet that they've picked up? who claims responsibility for something like this? and, again, as you're suggesting, not only do we have
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government, state, investigative cameras, but we have all the participants, all the people watching. investigators will be trying to get ahold of their cameras, iphones, film, to try to see who was in that location, who could have left a device there. as you suggest, that was part of the investigative technique when they were trying to find the bomber at the martin luther king parade in washington state. that's something they'll be doing now. >> and clint, i've got this in, "boston herald" reporter chris cassidy who was running in the marathon describes seeing what looked like something in a trash c can. she was there. she says, i saw two explosions. the first one was beyond the finish line. i heard a loud bang and i saw smoke rising. clint, i'm not sure if you know, but is it possible to time it exactly when these winners are running along the finish line, would a person have to be in that area for some kind of coordinated explosion of that
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kind? >> no, let's talk about two ways to do it. number one, of course, you could do it with a remote-controlled device. that would be somewhat sophisticated. number two, you could have a timer. realize, you know, with the race time of the very best runners, maybe that's, you know, we know what that's going to be. when this device went off, we were somewhat in the period of the 3:30 to 4:30. runners know their times. probably about a quarter to a half of the runners may have finished by that time. and a device could have been set with a timing device with the individual knowing when a number of the runners would have been through to try to get the maximum impact because you'd have the most people crossing that finish line. >> and we are waiting, by the way, to update our audience. we could be getting an update in the next five minutes or so. i want to two go to kristen wel
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standing by. the white house saying shortly around the hour of 3:00 p.m., the president received a briefing from homeland security adviser, and other members of his senior white house staff in the oval office. what else can you tell me regarding the administration's response to this breaking news? >> tamron, i can tell you president obama has also placed calls to boston mayor tom menino as well as massachusetts governor deval patrick to extend his thoughts with that community right now and says the administration will stand by them, offer them whatever assistance they need as they deal with this situation. we do have a statement from the white house which i can read to you, tamron. it was released a short time ago. it says "the president has been notified of the incident in boston. his administration is in contact with state and local authorities. he directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response." i can tell you the vice president has also been made aware of this situation. he extended his thoughts and prayers to those in boston right now who are dealing with what is such an incredibly difficult
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situation. as is customary in these types of incidents, tamron, pennsylvania avenue outside of the white house has been shut down to foot traffic. that is really out of an abundance of caution, of course, a security measure to make sure just in case that the white house is being protected as they try to figure out what specifically led to that explosion in boston. so that is the scene here at the white house. but i can tell you the president, his senior advisers are monitoring this situation quite closely. >> let me bring in michael lighter, nbc news counterterrorism cyber security and national security analyst. michael, thank you for your time. obviously we're looking at as many details that are coming in as possible here. but looking at the boston marathon, we know the history of this marathon, we know the number of people who participate and who turn out here. it is always feared that a sporting event would be the target, whether it be a domestic terrorist or someone from another country who wanted a high concentration of people, but quite honestly, over the years we've seen the security step up at all of these big
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events. >> any event which has a large public gathering which is really very difficult to shut down all access has been targeted. going back to the olympics in 1996, and certainly subsequent olympics. there's been a huge amount of security around them. and u.s. sporting events since 9/11 have always been thought of as a target, whether it's the super bowl or the world series. and this is clearly a site which is very difficult to secure. now, we really have to stress that only an hour into this event, we still don't know what caused this. >> absolutely. >> but i think everyone has to go into this in the u.s. government, in boston, right now thinking very seriously that this is likely terrorism because of the location. and i think authorities in boston and washington here will have a really good sense of that within the next hour or two about what caused this. they won't know who did it what if there's a who but they should know what. >> we're getting in firsthand
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accounts from witnesses who were there. they're describes the same thing. we have one person who was near next to the explosion site at prudential hall who said, we heard a loud boom. they said to sit tight. then a second went off and it was an all-out rush to the door. they describe a terrible smell and tons and tons of smoke. in fact, i'd like to pause for a second and let our audience hear one of the explosions we -- it was actually caught on tape. as you imagine, again, a lot of cameras around. let's listen in. >> we got video of the explosion as it happened. there it is. we wanted to warn you. wow, that was an intense explosion. look at the reaction. wow. >> that was one. >> that was one. >> they're saying there was two. we're seeing this for the first time as well. it looks like it happened in front of i believe marathon -- there's a second explosion i think we're just hearing. what you can definitely hear are the screams and panic of the people there. >> michael, it's all captured there. i'm also wondering, do you know
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the procedure? a lot of times when you have these big events, whether it's a parade, typically authorities will say no backpacks or limit the size. and even glance into purses of women going into these secured areas at these large events. do we know if that's the case at the boston marathon? >> i don't know specifically, but i would say two things. first, the boston police department is really one of the elite in general. and related to terrorism. they've been very involved since 9/11 in creating specialized intelligence units and the like and working hand in hand with the fbi joint terrorism task forces. they plan these out withiculous. the second piece is you generally have different levels of security as you get closer and closer to the event. usually the finish line, themselves, there might be inspections of the backpacks and like. as you move out, there are different levels of police, both federal officers and largely
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boston police department which would secure that area. a place like this, which is slightly away from the finish line, my guess is there probably might have been some screening before the event. but probably not prohibition against backpacks and the like during the event. there certainly would have been a heavy police presence all along the route. thankfully that police presence and the medical presence near the finish line likely led to an even faster response than you normally would have. >> i'm going to take our audience back to local. before i do, we've got new information that as many as four explosives, possibly, at the scene. two detonating. two were found later. this information coming in from our own pete williams. we're working to confirm as many details, again, as possible. several officials say it appears two of these bombs went off near the finish line. again, this happening about two hours after the winners of the marathon. the explosion, itself, taking place right around the time the amateurs were starting to come
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through. finishing the race. let me take you back to the local coverage, hear more details of what they've been able to uncover. >> temperature of any situation by basically watching, absorbing how fast these police dar cars going. 15 minutes ago the police cars went screaming down the street. shortly after i arrived on the scene, one person said, i can't confirm it, he heard multiple devices have been found. i wanted to wait and so if we could find out more information. indeed, that is true. this area has been cleared out. i'm going to ask jeff, my colleague, to turn around. see more people are being cleared out. let's turn around and look here at st. james street, i should say. st. james street. more people are being cleared out. more emergency vehicles are being, are screaming down this road. and jeff, if i can have you now turn around to the other direction toward boyleston street, bear with us, you can
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see there an eery sight. on any normal day, hundreds and hundreds of people would be there getting their medals, hugging each other. winding down. getting some water. again, it is completely empty. as this whole area is now evacuated. >> janet, real quick, if i can, i'm not sure i understood you correctly. when you saw that, the police racing by, was it going down clarendon or going down, i believe that's st. james to your right? was it going down -- for example, was it going down toward the -- was that the copley, fairmont copley on your right? >> a dozen regular police cars. the regular sedans went screaming down clarendon toward boyleston and a moment ago as you saw on live tv, we had three sort of suv police cars screaming down st. james in the direction of copley square proper in the direction of the medical tent. then you saw also the federal agents. >> all right. janet, we'll be checking with you. thank you very much for that
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updated information. >> the local coverage of the breaking news out of boston. joining us right now, massachusetts congressman bill keating. congressman, thank you for your time. what have you heard? >> well, certainly the public is well aware there's been two explosions already. our office has been informed that there was a third device that was found in a hotel in the boyleston street area of boston right near the same area. that has -- unconfirmed reports -- been detonated by authorities. so that's what we have heard. the area federal buildings, our office has been told federal buildings are being shut down in boston. there's also information that some of the flights might not be taking off to the area. the national guard which has been in touch with our office is
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saying that the fact that this could -- they could not exclude the fact this is a terrorist atk of some sort. that people should remain in their home. they should remain, you know, away from this area. they shouldn't be attracted to it. there's still investigations going on. possibility of other explosive devices. i know that the fusion center in boston, from being on the homeland security committee, that, you know, that is in full force and that's one of the best fusion centers in the country. its coordination of local, state, national guard and federal authorities all working in concert. i saw myself as i was coming around the boston area that regional ambulances were coming to the scene. saw one ambulance, boston ambulance, heading, you know, to another hospital. there's obviously been two deaths confirmed as well as 23,
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at least, injured. the process is ongoing. the investigations are continuing. people are urged to stay, you know, in hatheir homes and not venture out in curiosity because authorities just are still at the investigation stage and not able to exclude this is a terrorist threat, not able to exclude there may be multiple explosive devices still undetected. so there is the third that they have found, so factor that into put this in perspective. >> we also know, i want to talk to you to get more details on what you may know regarding the security along the marathon route. the information we have is that the 400 massachusetts national guardsmen were assigned to keep the marathon route clear. four runners, today, guardsmen are from the 79th troop command, massachusetts army national guard and military police from the 747 military police company are on site there.
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what else do you know as far as security of the route and people allowed especially in and around that finish line where so many gather? >> well, i know just from my own background working with the state police, district attorney as well as in homeland security, you know, this was an area that would, and i'm sure, was, protected, was investigated. i'm sure they had dogs, i'm sure they did everything they would do. this is a big event. terrorists are attracted, generally speaking, to symbolic events. this is not only one of our country's symbolic events, the oldest marathon, an international site for runners. it's also a day that april 15th, tax day, it's a day that might have some significance. again, we're getting ahead of ourselves. we can't confirm, only not exclude the fact this could be a
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terrorist attack, it could be a homegrown domestic extremist. >> absolutely. all the details are being looked at at this point. >> the one thing we do know, there were two explosions and another bomb that was found. >> your colleague, congressman steven lynch releasing a statement, similar statements you're saying. he went on to say, no matter who or what is responsible, this is a terrible tragedy for our city and nation. our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured today. as you well know, the white house has commented as well. the president in contact with homeland security. but at this point, sir, you see these images of people being carried off. at this point, two souls have been lost as a result. many others are injured. here and to your point, this is one of our nation's greatest cities, the history of boston. certainly can to the be understated. you make so many great points. how does it feel looking at these images from your home state? and this unknown factor of what
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has happened here? >> the first thought, you know, is the victims and their families. and second thought is, let's do everything medically we can to respond to all the medical needs that are there. i know, myself, someone in our office, is trying to contact their brother by phone. and they couldn't get through. so there's a lot of people still trying to find out if everyone's safe. this attracts enormous amounts of people. the finish line is a place where people gather to meet afterwards and as you look at this, you just -- first of all, and i think foremost, just your heartbreaks for those families that have suffered a loss and have suffered injury. and then the worry that surrounds so many other people trying frantically to get in touch with relatives, friends
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and loved ones that they were told were going to be going to the finish line. >> yeah. absolutely. and watching the still images and the video, sir, of the moments and the seconds after the explosion and the smoke and to hear those screams from people and unknown as they tried to run to safety. it just -- >> two things that people should realize. number one, there's a great medical backup on scene. >> right. >> because of the marathon and the proximity to the hospital. people should be aware that the best medical attention is being put forward immediately. people are trained for this. >> right. >> i know that from my own background. and the response, i have great confidence in. >> and to your point -- >> in fact, they found a third bomb without detonating shows that that work is exemplary. >> this is a collective effort with the federal and state and
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city officials and we just got word in, congressman, that the new york fbi says that it is sending special agent bomb techs to boston for support. so to your point about the medical personnel and the best out there helping those who were injured, and assisting those, we also know, according to the governor, that federal, state and city officials and now the new york fbi sending special bomb agents. in addition to the homeland security department and many other agencies right now in the most active mode attempting to find out what's happened there. >> the fusion center that is located at the airport in boston, i'm sure, was in the preparatory stage of this as well as right on the scene afterwards. so that part is no doubt my confidence level very high. but our, you know, very mixed thoughts. first and foremost, the people that are worrying about loved ones as well as the ones that
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have been informed that they have loved ones that are injured. and most rega, the families who lost someone today. >> attorney general eric holder directed the full resources of the justice department to be deployed to ensure this matter is fully investigated. congressman, thank you. i want to bring in dean walker from universal sports. he was evacuated following the explosions. dean, can you tell me logistically where you were, what you saw? >> well, we were preparing for our 4:00 p.m. boston marathon wrap-up show, and basically our production truck was parked the opposite side of the street where the first bomb went off. so approximately about 75 to 100 feet away. i was in the truck at the time when that bomb exploded. did not see it, but it rocked the truck very violently. and then as we turned to look at the screen, we could see the second bomb go off. that was approximately 100 feet up the course on the opposite side of the street from where we
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were at. >> we see the reaction from, obviously, the people in the initial smoke and the screams heard there, dean. were you able, at all, to see the vantage point as far as how close this was to the mass of people at that finish line? we're seeing different angles here, but can you give me a little more insight into just how many people were in that immediate area? >> well, on that side of the street where the first device when off, that side of the street had more public access because the side of the street we were on were where the grandstands were which had restricted access. >> okay. >> it had a lot more foot traffic and open area. and from what we saw on our television monitors, we think the bomb, the explosion occurred about 15 feet, 10 to 15 feet away from the edge of the street. so back a ways from the street.
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>> okay. we just got information, boston pd will be holding a news conference in about 15 minutes from now. dean, back to this area that was open more to the public. many people are familiar with parade routes and some of them have checkpoints, as i've stated before, where they glance into, for example, backpacks if they allow them in or even a woman's handbag to kind of look around. are there any checkpoints along that area, particularly near the finish line? >> on our side of the street, i can speak to, which is, yes, you did have to be. on opposite side of the street, i don't know, because that is not a side of the street that we were traveling upon. >> and the timing of the first explosion, the winners of the marathon had already passed. about two hours in. we were looking at the group i guess of what were described mostly as the amateurs who were starting to finish at that point. is that correct, dean? >> that is correct. we think the explosion first
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occurred about 2:50. >> okay. >> the men's finishers crossed the finish line about 12:10. and from what we also know is that runners were allowed to run the course all the way up to about 4:50 p.m. so there were still a lot of runners on the course. >> and we can see that from the vantage point of that first explosion as well, dean, that along the route, you see a number of yellow jackets. i imagine those are police personnel. also people who are employed by the marathon. i've covered the chicago marathon, i've covered marathons here as well. there's a combination of security both from the police department and also individuals who are either volunteers or who have been hired by the marathons along the route to keep everything safe and in line. >> that is correct. and you're talking about people who are wearing long sleeved yellow jackets. those are primarily the volunteers that are along the course. any police personnel were actually wearing yellow safety vests.
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>> and dean, i'm sorry, we had a little bit of an interruption there, bullet you were explaining as well that the number of security, both the police department as well as volunteers that are along that route, are they more -- is there more of a presence along the finish line, itself? or do you see that pretty consistent throughout much, or as much of the marathon considering it's a lengthy marathon? >> i can't really speak to that because i was not out on the course but near the finish line because it has the highest chan concentration along the course, that's where most of the personnel was at. >> thank you very much, dean. i greatly appreciate it. let me bring in clint van zandt. we got interesting details from dean who was not far from the explosion, itself. as he pointed out, the side at which this explosion is seen from is the side that was more open to the public, itself, on the side dean and maybe the other journalists were on, had
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to be credentialed. we're looking at this particular side, as he pointed out, was more open to the public. if someone wanted to leave a bag, again, we don't know what the explosive, itself, was carried in. that would, unfortunately, be the weak area, one of the weak areas. >> it would. but realize we're talking about multiple devices right now. we're talking about at least, if we believe the intelligence so far, that there were two devices that were detonated somehow. either by timers or by cell phone or some other wise command detonated. then we're told of at least a third device that law enforcement has located and they've rendered it safe or they've detonated it. and there's a potential fourth device. what we don't know, number one, was are there, in fact, four devices? number two, were these set up to go off at the same time? or were they set up as terrorists will do sometimes, they'll set one or two devices off, then they'll have a device
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set to go off 10 or 15 minutes later hoping to catch first responders? >> yeah. >> so we don't know how sophisticated it is. what we do know right now is this is not a natural source. this is not an accident. this is some type of criminal/terroristic activity. >> to your point, clint, you make this point about it doesn't have to be sophisticated. for example, with "the new york times" bomber, this was a guy who had bumbled, if you will, according to analysts, his waypa vehicle, so much so it started to smoke and people in "the new york times" area -- times square area, pardon me, noted this and saw this and called authorities. doesn't have to be a quote/unquote sophisticated device to cause great damage. >> no, it doesn't. and, you know, no, we want to be very careful, i want to be careful what i say because obviously we have people killed and people injured. but when i see the smoke, the white smoke that's coming off of at least the first device that
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we see was detonated, that is usually more significant of a low order than a high-order explosive. in essence, it's not like commonly known as c4 or plastic explosive. something that would be more sophisticated, that might be in the hands of some international type of terrorist group. bottom line is, though, you can build a bomb in your basement or your bathtub and that could well be the case here. >> all right. clint, thank you. i want to update our audience on information from the faa. it's announced a ground stop for boston logan airport until further notice. also, regarding people injured, 18 to 20 patients at bringham women's. two in critical condition. kristen welker is at the white house with the very latest. what are you being told there? >> tamron, i can tell you president obama was informed at about 3:00 this afternoon of the explosions in boston. he was briefed by his homeland security adviser. he put in calls -- >> kristen, let me interrupt you
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and take our audience to the news conference happening now. boston pd. let's listen in. we see governor deval patrick standing by. he tweeted out a message via twitter saying that he was currently in contact with federal, state and city officials there. we are waiting this press conference from the boston police department. as i mentioned at this time, the faa has announced a ground stop for boston logan airport until further notice. a number of cities have also reacted with heightening security. let's listen in to governor patrick. >> good afternoon, everybody. well, we've had a horrific attack here in boston this afternoon. commissioner davis is going to give some details about what we know so far.
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mindful that we don't have the whole picture yet. but we have gotten a good deal of information. commissioner davis will take all of us through the information that we have and then i'll come back and talk about some of the things and ways in which we're going to ask people to help us help you this afternoon. so let me turn it over now to commissioner of police here in boston. >> thank you, governor. at 2:50 p.m., today, there was simultaneous explosions that occurred along the route of the boston marathon near the finish line. these explosions occurred 50 to 100 yards apart and each scene resulted in multiple casualties. at this point in time, all of the victims have been removed from the scene. we have sent officers to hospitals to be in touch with
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family members and possible witnesses. we immediately activated a system of response that the commonwealth of massachusetts and federal government has in place for these types of incidents. my first two calls were to the special agent in charge to the fbi and to the state police, both rick delorier and tim alvins immediately sent resources. we have at this point in time determined that there has been a third incident that has occurred. there was an explosion that occurred at the jfk library. so this is very much an ongoing event at this point in time. we are not certain that these incidents are related, but we are treating them as if they are. we're recommending to people that they stay home. that if they're in hotels in the area that they return to their rooms and that they don't go any place and congregate in large crowds. we want to make sure we
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completely stabilize the situation. we are setting up two telephone numbers that are very important. the first one is for families of victims and people who are trying to locate people. that number is 617-635-4500. that is the hot line. the second number if anyone saw anything at this incident, if anybody knows of any information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of the individuals responsible for this, they should call us at 1-800-494-tips. that's 1-800-494-tips. that line will be staffed up tonight along with the fbi and the state police. we working with the alcohol, tobacco and firearms. we have the general here from the massachusetts national guard who has assisted in securing the perimeter and we have additional assets from other agencies who are volunteering to assist us.
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after this incident occurred, there were certainly a lot of people who were running from the scene. some of them deposited bags and parcels they were carrying. each one of those bags and parcels are being treated as a suspicious device at this point in time. we have multiple eod teams checking each one of these bags. at this point, we have not found another device. the three incidents that have occurred, two of them occurred simultaneousty on boyleston street and the third one occurred at jfk a half hour ago. people should be calm but should understand this is an ongoing event and understand we need all the information that we can get available to us. thank you. >> ed, thank you very much. i want to thank the commissioner. i had a call from the president about half an hour ago who assured us that we would have full cooperation of the fbi and
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the atf who are also on the ground. we have as the commissioner said the state police, the national guard fully deployed and we thank them for their assistance. the fire marshal. the city fire marshal is here as well. so a lot of coordination in a very fluid situation. we are asking that people stay out of crowds and calmly make their way home or if they're visiting, back to their hotels. all of the hotel security will be prioritized at the outset. again, if people have information, please use those tip lines. this is very, very important that we get as current information as we can as quickly as possible. i'd be happy to take any questions. >> governor, can you talk about. [ inaudible ]
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>> well, you know, i -- the marathon is a pretty special day around here, as you know. and i started this morning visiting mayor menino in the hospital who was devastated he couldn't be at the marathon today. he's on his way here now, i think, am i right? from the hospital. so obviously he is as concerned as rest of us are about the safety of people who come for this iconic experience here in the city. >> can you address reports that you're looking for a specific kind of truck or specific kind of person? >> no, there was no specific type of truck that we're looking for at this point in time. we are looking for any information that people have as to what they saw or might have heard at the site of the explosion or coming and going. we're investigating all leads right now. >> what's the latest deaths and injury tolls? >> we don't have the number of
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casualty casualties at this point in time. this is very early in this investigation. we wanted it get out here and give you as much information as we had. we cannot tell you exactly how many people are injured. >> a third explosion an hour or so ago, then there was a rumor that was a controlled explosion. do you know what that was? >> that was a controlled explosion on boyleston street. there was an explosion at the jfk library we believe was related. >> what is the history of that? >> as i explained earlier, there are a number of parcels dropped by people on the parade route, on the race route. anything that's out there right now is being viewed as a suspicious device. and we are clearing each one of these items with an eod team. they may be blowing things up over the course of the next few hours. at this point in time we have not found another device on boyleston street. >> have there been warnings leaning up to this? threats? >> none. we talk about the threat picture all the time as we lead up to this particular event. we have no information this was
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going to happen. >> can you tell us what happened at jfk? >> it's literally just unfolding. i don't have specifics. there was an explosion there. i'm sorry? >> around 3:00, there was a fire there. did this happen after that? >> we got reports after 3:00 that there was an explosion there. >> commissioner, any injuries at the jfk library? >> none that we know of. >> governor patrick said it was an attack. do you say this was a terrorist attack? >> we're not being definitive on this right now, but you can reach your own conclusions based upon what happened. >> can you describe the diligence that's being paid -- >> anybody contact police trying to claim responsibility for this? >> at this time, no. every asset of common wealth of massachusetts or the federal government is here or coming here. as the governor said, the president has talked directly to the mayor as well as the governor and i had a personal conversation with the director of the fbi who pledged any help that we needed. so we are stabilizing the
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situation at this point in time. people should be cautious. that's all. thank you all very much. >> this is our first breaking as we're getting more details here from the boston police department. commissioner davis for the first time confirming there was a third explosion at the jfk library in boston. two explosives according to the commissioner. 50 to 100 yards apart. michael is still standing by. michael, what stood out to you from the details released by the commissioner? >> that this is almost certainly a terrorist attack and a relatively sophisticated one. that there would be two devices a short distance away from each other. probably to maximize casualties then a third device farther away really across the city if you know boston. >> yes. >> which obviously didn't hurt anyone, thank god. but you can no longer ascribe this to a natural gas explosion, this is a relatively sophisticated terrorist

tv
Martin Bashir
MSNBC April 15, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Boston 49, Evan 8, Fbi 4, Massachusetts 4, Davis 3, Tamron 3, Atlanta 3, Msnbc 3, New York 3, Chris Jansing 3, Washington 3, Bridget Murphy 2, Patrick 2, The City 2, Martin Luther King 2, Mike Barnicle 2, Mike 2, Deval Patrick 2, Jfk 2, The Jfk Library 2
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